Missing Couple Found In California Wilderness: Sister Of Murder Victim Alive But ‘Severely Dehydrated’

An elderly couple on their way from Orange County, California to their son’s home in Palm Springs, went missing after they visited Valley View Casino on May 10. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the missing couple had left the casino to make the drive to San Diego to their son’s home to celebrate Mother’s Day, but the couple never made it.

It’s still unclear exactly what happened to Cecil Knutson, 79, and Dianna Bedwell, 68, but after extensive air and ground searches of the California back country, the missing couple were finally located Sunday afternoon, on an Indian Reservation near Warner Springs, California, by people driving off-road vehicles.

Unfortunately, by the time the couple were found, the elderly husband, Cecil, has passed away, and police say Bedwell was in rough shape, suffering from severe dehydration, after having survived on only rainwater, and what limited food she could find in their white Hyundai Sonata. She was airlifted to hospital and has been listed in serious condition.

In her limited capacity for speech, given her condition, police have not yet been able to ask her how Knutson died, but she has managed to reveal that the couple was searching for a shortcut when they went missing, and ended up lost on a rough back road near a Boy Scouts camp on the Los Coyotes Indian Reservation near Warner Springs, California, says Sheriff’s Lt. Ken Nelson.

“Sheriff’s homicide investigators responded to the hospital and were able to obtain a brief statement from Bedwell. The preliminary investigation indicates the couple became lost soon after leaving the casino while attempting to find a shortcut to their ultimate destination. They remained with their vehicle until ultimately found.”

Though it’s frighteningly common for elderly couples to go missing, the reason this couple made headline news was due to Bedwell’s connection to a famous gruesome murder that occurred in Indianapolis, Indiana 50 years ago. Bedwell’s sister, Sylvia Likens, then 16-years-old, was murdered in 1965 in what became known as “the most terrible crime in Indiana history.”

Sylvia Likens died at the hands of her caregiver, Gertrude, who targeted her almost immediately after the girl landed in her care. At the time of her death, the young girl had burn marks all over her body, as well as the words “I am a prostitute and proud of it” carved into her stomach. Her death came as the result of a brain hemorrhage, and malnutrition.

Though the elderly father, Cecil Knutson passed away while lost for two weeks, with the missing couple having been found in the California wilderness, at least this tragedy has the potential for a happy ending, as Bedwell now receives the care she desperately needs.

[Image Credit: NY Daily News]